There’s nothing more Christmassy for ballet lovers than seeing The Nutcracker, though live performances are thin on the ground this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. But a Nutcracker is at hand! The Royal Ballet production recorded live from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2016 is screening around the world, including Australia where it will be in cinemas on 19, 20 and 23 December, presented by Palace Opera & Ballet.

Peter Wright’s enchanting production (a version of which has been staged by The Australian Ballet) follows Clara and Hans-Peter (the Nutcracker) on a journey to the glittering Kingdom of Sweets. Complete with a magical Christmas tree, the Waltz of the Snowflakes, the dazzling pas de deux of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince, and the battle with the evil Mouse King, the classical ballet is a festive treat for all ages.

Francesca Hayward as Clara in the Royal Ballet production of The Nutcracker, 2015. Photograph © Tristram Kenton

The Royal Ballet screening features Francesca Hayward as Clara, Australian dancer Alexander Campbell as Hans-Peter (the Nutcracker), Lauren Cuthbertson as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Federico Bonelli as her Prince.

Hayward – who is utterly...